close
close

Putin-backed think tank says Kremlin should consider nuclear blast to warn West

A senior member of a Russian think tank with influence over the Kremlin has suggested president Vladimir Putin consider a “demonstrative” nuclear explosion to scare the West into blocking Ukraine from using its arms on Russian targets.

Dmitry Suslov, of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, wrote: “The political and psychological effect of a nuclear mushroom cloud, which will be shown live on all TV channels worldwide, will hopefully remind Western politicians of the one thing that has prevented wars between the great powers since 1945 and that they have now largely lost – fear of nuclear war.”

On Tuesday, Mr Putin warned the West that Nato members in Europe were playing with fire by proposing to let Ukraine use Western weapons to strike inside Russia, which he said could trigger a global conflict.

But within 24 hours, the French and German leaders said Kyiv should be allowed to “neutralise” military bases inside Russia used to attack Ukraine.

French president Emmanuel Macron said “we don’t want escalation” but Ukraine could attack “military sites from which missiles are fired”.

Russian troops are reportedly gathering on the Ukrainian border in preparation for fresh offensive operations.

Key Points

  • French and German leaders say Ukraine should be allowed to strike inside Russia

  • Belgium to provide 30 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as Zelensky lands in Brussels

  • Sweden announces £986 million in military support for Ukraine

  • Russia dropped 3,200 bombs on Ukraine in May, Zelensky says

Russian think tank adviser suggests nuclear blast to warn West

20:25 , Jane Dalton

A top member of a Russian think tank whose ideas sometimes become government policy has suggested Moscow consider a “demonstrative” nuclear explosion to cow the West into refusing to allow Ukraine to use its arms against targets inside Russia.

The proposal, by Dmitry Suslov, a member of the Moscow-based Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, was issued a day after president Vladimir Putin warned the West that Nato members in Europe were playing with fire by proposing to let Kyiv use Western weapons to strike deep inside Russia, something he said could trigger a global conflict.

Mr Putin has previously praised the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy.

Mr Suslov said Russia needed to act to dissuade the West from crossing a red line.

“To confirm the seriousness of Russia’s intentions and to convince our opponents of Moscow’s readiness to escalate, it is worth considering a demonstrative (ie non-combat) nuclear explosion,” he wrote in business magazine Profil.

“The political and psychological effect of a nuclear mushroom cloud, which will be shown live on all TV channels around the world, will hopefully remind Western politicians of the one thing that has prevented wars between the great powers since 1945 and that they have now largely lost – fear of nuclear war.”

The first atomic explosion in New Mexico in July 1945 (AP1945)The first atomic explosion in New Mexico in July 1945 (AP1945)

The first atomic explosion in New Mexico in July 1945 (AP1945)

Zelensky hails key allies as Sweden becomes third country this week to pledge $1bn in military aid

20:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Sweden has become the third country in as many days to pledge more than $1 billion (£785m) in additional military aid to Ukraine as president Volodymyr Zelensky concluded a three-day tour of Europe.

The package, announced by defence minister Pal Jonson, is the largest single tranche of support donated by Sweden since Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, valued at 13.3 billion Swedish crowns (£981m).

It comes at a vital time for Ukraine as Russian forces, emboldened by an advantage born from a US military package delayed by more than six months, advance across the 640-mile frontline.

Zelensky hails key allies as Sweden becomes third country this week to pledge $1bn

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

19:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia and Uzbekistan signed an accord Monday for Moscow to build a small nuclear power plant in the Central Asian country, as Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in the Uzbek capital with Uzbekistan leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Mirziyoyev hailed the project as “vital” in remarks after the talks, noting that Uzbekistan has “its own large reserves of uranium.” Putin, in turn, vowed to “do everything in order to work effectively on Uzbekistan’s (nuclear energy) market.”

If the agreement is implemented, the plant would become the first in Central Asia, further increasing Russia’s influence in the region.

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

Every Nato step to support Ukraine will help contain Russia, Czech minister says

19:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Nato needs to send a signal that it will contain “Russian imperialism” and every move to aid Ukraine will help it do this, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Wednesday, as the military alliance meets this week to discuss support for Kyiv.

Earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged allies to step up aid and involvement in the war in an interview with Reuters, as Ukraine‘s forces come under growing pressure under along more than 1,000 km of front lines and after weapons deliveries were delayed for months by internal political wrangling.

Foreign ministers of Nato’s 32 members will gather in the Czech capital Prague on Thursday and Friday to hammer out agreements for later when NATO leaders meet in Washington in July, focusing on putting support for Ukraine on a more stable long-term footing.

“Nato is a defensive alliance. We don’t want to change anything on that. On the other hand if we want to defend Europe, we are quite open in recognising what is threatening European defence. That is, in my eyes, Russian imperialism,” Lipavsky told Reuters in an interview.

“I am calling on other states to have a common strategy to contain Russia, and definitely every step which will help Ukraine, will also help this goal.”

US Treasury official visits Ukraine to discuss sanctions on Russia and seizing Russian assets

18:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A senior U.S. Treasury official is in Kyiv this week to talk with government officials about U.S. financial support for Ukraine, efforts to tighten sanctions on Russia and plans to use immobilized Russian sovereign assets for the benefit of Ukraine as it fends off Russian forces.

Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo’s trip comes as Russia gains territory on the battlefield after an especially lengthy delay in U.S. military aid left Ukraine at the mercy of Russia’s bigger army and as the outlook for Ukraine’s state finances is on shakier ground.

US Treasury official visits Ukraine to discuss sanctions on Russia and seizing Russian assets

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

18:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that police carried out searches at the residence of an employee of the European Parliament and at his office in the Parliament’s building in Brussels over suspected Russian interference.

Prosecutors said in statement that the suspect’s office in Strasbourg, where the EU Parliament’s headquarters are located in France, was also searched in partnership with the EU’s judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, and French judicial authorities.

The raids took place less than two weeks before Europe-wide polls on June 6-9 to elect a new EU parliament.

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

Trump suggested at fundraiser he ‘would have bombed’ Russia and China

17:31 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Donald Trump suggested during a fundraising event that he would have bombed Moscow in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and attacked Beijing if China invaded Taiwan on his watch, according to a Washington Post report.

The comments surprised some of the donors at the event.

James Gilmore, who served as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters in Taiwan earlier this month that Mr Trump isn’t an isolationist but that he’s simply trying to get allies to put more emphasis on their own defense.

Trump suggested at fundraiser he ‘would have bombed’ Russia and China

US working to provide $50 million to Moldova to help resist Russian interference

16:50 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said the Biden administration was working with the US Congress to provide an additional $50 million to Moldova to advance efforts he said will help the country resist Russian interference.

Blinken, speaking at a press conference in Chisinau with Moldova’s president, said the US has seen extraordinary resilience from the country despite “bullying” from Russia, efforts to spread disinformation and weaponising corruption.

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Ukraine urges allies to allow Kyiv to strike Russia with Western-supplied arms

16:36 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine has urged its allies to allow Kyiv to use Western-supplied arms to conduct strikes inside Russia and abandon an official position some of them have held throughout Russia‘s 27-month-old full-scale invasion.

President Volodymyr Zelensky told Reuters on 20 May that talks had taken place with Kyiv’s allies about using their weapons to strike Russian military targets at the border and further inside Russia.

He said the talks had yielded “nothing positive”, but some partners have shifted their rhetoric on the matter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Nato members on Tuesday that they were playing with fire by proposing to let Ukraine use Western weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

Zelensky hails key allies as Sweden becomes third country this week to pledge $1bn in military aid

16:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Sweden has become the third country in as many days to pledge more than $1 billion (£785m) in additional military aid to Ukraine as president Volodymyr Zelensky concluded a three-day tour of Europe.

The package, announced by defence minister Pal Jonson, is the largest single tranche of support donated by Sweden since Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, valued at 13.3 billion Swedish crowns (£981m).

It comes at a vital time for Ukraine as Russian forces, emboldened by an advantage born from a US military package delayed by more than six months, advance across the 640-mile frontline.

Tom Watling has more:

Zelensky hails key allies as Sweden becomes third country this week to pledge $1bn

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

15:56 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The British government has said it is “determined to hold to account“ those responsible for hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities, including children, believed to have been forcibly removed to Russian-held territory and Russia itself, after a special report by The Independent.

In response to the 18-month investigation, the deputy foreign secretary, Andrew Mitchell, called the practice “despicable” and pledged further support to the disabled community in the war-wracked country.

The Independent’s four-article series revealed evidence that since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, people with disabilities have been held incommunicado, in squalid conditions and even forced into adopting Russian passports in order to secure treatment or care. The series reveals other horrific abuses, including that groups were used by Russian soldiers as human shields and deprived of food and critical medicine resulting in death – potential war crimes against the most vulnerable in society.

Our international correspondent Bel Trew has more here:

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

France’s Macron urges a green light for Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with Western weapons

15:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Western countries should let Ukraine strike military bases inside Russia with the sophisticated long-range weapons they are providing to Kyiv, French President Emmanuel Macron said, pressuring his allies in the most recent sign of a potentially significant policy shift that could help change the complexion of the war.

The question of whether to allow Ukraine to hit targets on Russian soil with Western-supplied weaponry has been a delicate issue since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022.

France’s Macron urges a green light for Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with Western weapons

Prominent Russian nationalist who insulted Putin loses appeal against jail term, says RIA

15:05 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Prominent Russian nationalist ex-militia commander Igor Girkin, who accused President Vladimir Putin and the army of failure in the war in Ukraine, lost his appeal on Wednesday against a four-year jail term, the RIA state news agency reported.

Girkin, who used the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov during fighting in east Ukraine a decade ago, was convicted by a Moscow court in January of inciting extremism, a charge he denied.

 (AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Russian strikes kill two civilians in Ukraine’s Nikopol, governor says

14:46 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian strikes killed two civilians in the city of Nikopol in southern Ukraine on Wednesday, regional governor Serhiy Lysak said.

Lysak said a Russian drone targeted an ambulance killing a 54-year-old driver and severely injuring his wife. Another civilian, a 52-year-old man, died in a hospital after being wounded in an artillery shelling earlier in the day, he said.

Nikopol which is located just across the river from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, is being pounded regularly with Russian artillery fire.

Putin names ex-bodyguard Alexei Dyumin, a potential successor, to senior role

14:26 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Alexei Dyumin, his former bodyguard, as secretary of the advisory State Council on Wednesday, a step that fuelled speculation about Dyumin’s presidential potential.

Putin was re-elected for another six-year term in March and made Dyumin, 51, an aide overseeing the defence industry in May, bringing him to Moscow and closer to the centre of power.

A decree signed by Putin appointing Dyumin to the State Council was published on the Kremlin’s website on Wednesday. It gave no further details of his new role.

“Russia‘s elite is abuzz with the appointment of Dyumin as secretary of the State Council,” Sergei Markov, a former Kremlin adviser and Putin supporter, said on Telegram.

“This is seen as confirmation that Dyumin is the future president of Russia, Putin’s choice,” Markov said, adding that this was something that had long been rumoured.

Asked about Dyumin’s appointment, the Kremlin said it was part of a rotation – he is taking over the role from Igor Levitin, 72 – and said he would look at how the State Council would function. Putin chairs the council and there has long been speculation that it could take on more importance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, stands next to Alexei Dyumin (Sputnik)Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, stands next to Alexei Dyumin (Sputnik)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, stands next to Alexei Dyumin (Sputnik)

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

14:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that police carried out searches at the residence of an employee of the European Parliament and at his office in the Parliament’s building in Brussels over suspected Russian interference.

Prosecutors said in statement that the suspect’s office in Strasbourg, where the EU Parliament’s headquarters are located in France, was also searched in partnership with the EU’s judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, and French judicial authorities.

The raids took place less than two weeks before Europe-wide polls on June 6-9 to elect a new EU parliament.

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

Ukrainian drones can strike deep into Russia but Moscow is safe, Russian official says

13:42 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian drones have the capability of striking up to 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles) into Russia, but the capital Moscow has been protected from their strikes, a senior Russian airforce official warned on Wednesday.

The statement from Dmitry Bogdanov, head of the radio-electronic warfare department of the Russian Aerospace Forces, was carried by the TASS state news agency and suggests that a wide swath of Russian territory bordering Ukraine is vulnerable to potential attack.

“The enemy is not standing still,” Bogdanov was quoted as saying.

“Now unmanned aerial vehicles can traverse an area of up to 2,500 kilometres, and many (Russian) regions are aware of this,”, Bogdanov told a security conference, TASS reported.

Bogdanov said measures had been taken to protect Moscow, the Russian capital, from Ukrainian drone attacks and that other regions were working on their defences.

Sweden seeks to answer worried students’ questions about NATO and war after its neutrality ends

13:15 , Tom Watling

Sweden seeks to answer worried students’ questions about NATO and war after its neutrality ends

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

12:45 , Tom Watling

Police search the European Parliament over suspected Russian interference, prosecutors say

Blinken heads to Moldova as tensions with Russia build

12:15 , Tom Watling

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is flying to the Moldovan capital Chisinau today, the first stop on a brief Europe tour aimed at solidifying Western support for Ukraine across Nato allies and neighbouring countries.

The top US diplomat’s trip comes as Ukraine is trying to fend off intensifying Russian attacks in the east and President Vladimir Putin warns that allowing Kyiv to use Western weapons to strike inside Russia could trigger a global conflict.

In Chisinau, Mr Blinken will meet pro-European President Maia Sandu and other senior officials at a time when US officials say the ex-Soviet republic of 2.5 million, which has a long border with Ukraine, faces Russian “influence operations”.

Jim O’Brien, the top US diplomat for Europe at the State Department, told reporters on Friday that the United States would likely announce a “robust package” of support for Moldova’s energy independence, without elaborating.

Under Ms Sandu, Moldova has staunchly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and set its sights on joining the European Union. It has sharply reduced its dependence on Russian natural gas and is diversifying its sources of electricity supply.

Mr O’Brien added that Washington has not seen a direct military threat from Russia toward Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria where Moscow has had a force of peacekeepers and soldiers on the ground since a war in the early 1990s.

Moldova, which holds a referendum in October to cement its bid to join the European Union into its constitution, is a vocal supporter of Ukraine and sees its security as closely tied to Kyiv’s ability to hold back Russian forces.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Moldova today (REUTERS)US secretary of state Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Moldova today (REUTERS)

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Moldova today (REUTERS)

Trump suggested at fundraiser he ‘would have bombed’ Russia and China

11:45 , Tom Watling

Trump suggested at fundraiser he ‘would have bombed’ Russia and China

Sweden to donate $1.23 billion in military aid to Ukraine

11:06 , Tom Watling

Earlier, we reported that Sweden had agreed to a package of nearly £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

We have more details on this package below.

Sweden to donate $1.23 billion in military aid to Ukraine

We have some photos from the frontline

10:40 , Tom Watling

Below, we have some photos that have just dropped on the wires showing what life is like for Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline.

A self-propelled howitzer of Ukraine’s 57th brigade fires in the direction of Russian positions on the outskirts of Kupiansk (REUTERS)A self-propelled howitzer of Ukraine’s 57th brigade fires in the direction of Russian positions on the outskirts of Kupiansk (REUTERS)

A self-propelled howitzer of Ukraine’s 57th brigade fires in the direction of Russian positions on the outskirts of Kupiansk (REUTERS)

Infantry soldier Viktor of Ukraine’s 58th Motorized Brigade smokes while standing in a frontline trench in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)Infantry soldier Viktor of Ukraine’s 58th Motorized Brigade smokes while standing in a frontline trench in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)

Infantry soldier Viktor of Ukraine’s 58th Motorized Brigade smokes while standing in a frontline trench in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)

An injured soldier looks on in a medical stabilisation point near the frontlines in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)An injured soldier looks on in a medical stabilisation point near the frontlines in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)

An injured soldier looks on in a medical stabilisation point near the frontlines in the Donetsk region (REUTERS)

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy is expected in Normandy for commemorations of 80 years since D-Day, Macron says

10:20 , Tom Watling

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy is expected in Normandy for commemorations of 80 years since D-Day, Macron says

Mapped: Russia’s advance in northeast Ukraine

10:00 , Tom Watling

Below you can see the latest map of Russia’s re-invasion of the the northeast Ukrainian region of Kharkiv.

Russian forces crossed the border on 10 May, just before 6am, and have since captured nearly 70 square miles of territory along two sectors.

It was the first time they had invaded since being pushed out by Ukrainian forces in September 2022.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes, while reinforced Ukrainian forces have stabilised the Russian advance in Vovchansk, a small town at the tip of the Kremlin’s westerly push, and in front of the village of Lyptsi in the second attack.

US Treasury official visits Ukraine to discuss sanctions on Russia and seizing Russian assets

09:40 , Tom Watling

US Treasury official visits Ukraine to discuss sanctions on Russia and seizing Russian assets

Prisoner swaps between Russia and Ukraine are on pause, says Tass citing Russian official

09:25 , Tom Watling

Russia’s human rights commissionerhas said that prisoner of war exchanges between Russia and Ukraine had been suspended for several months.

Russian state media outlet Tass cited Tatyana Moskalova as blaming what she called Kyiv’s “false demands” for the pause in POW exchanges. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Moscow and Kyiv have carried out periodic prisoner swaps via intermediaries since Moscow began what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine more than two years ago.

Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) react after a swap at an unknown location in Ukraine in January (via REUTERS)Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) react after a swap at an unknown location in Ukraine in January (via REUTERS)

Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) react after a swap at an unknown location in Ukraine in January (via REUTERS)

Photos show latest of Ukraine’s electronic warfare equipment

09:10 , Tom Watling

Photos from an event in western Ukraine have shown the latest examples of electronic warfare equipment.

The event, put on by Ukrainian charity foundation “Zavzhdy UA”, which translates as “Forever Ukraine”, showcased weapons made by Ukrainian manufacturer Kvertus.

Electronic warfare is used to block or jam signals used by Russian forces on the frontline to power drones and navigation systems on missiles, as well as communications.

An employee presents radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus in Lviv region (AFP via Getty Images)An employee presents radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus in Lviv region (AFP via Getty Images)

An employee presents radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus in Lviv region (AFP via Getty Images)

A Ukrainian serviceman tests an anti-drone gun during a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems (AFP via Getty Images)A Ukrainian serviceman tests an anti-drone gun during a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems (AFP via Getty Images)

A Ukrainian serviceman tests an anti-drone gun during a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems (AFP via Getty Images)

olunteers and Ukrainian military personnel attend a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus (AFP via Getty Images)olunteers and Ukrainian military personnel attend a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus (AFP via Getty Images)

olunteers and Ukrainian military personnel attend a presentation of radio-electronic warfare (WB) and radio-electronic intelligence (PER) systems of the Ukrainian company Kvertus (AFP via Getty Images)

Zelensky urges Biden to attend Ukraine peace summit – saying only Putin would applaud him staying away

08:54 , Tom Watling

Zelensky urges Biden to attend Ukraine peace summit

Sweden announces £986 million in military support for Ukraine

08:37 , Tom Watling

Sweden will send military aid worth 13.3 billion Swedish crowns (£986m) to Ukraine, its biggest package so far, to aid the war against the Russian invasion, the Nordic country’s government has announced.

The package would among other things help strengthen the Ukrainian air defence and included Saab’s Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASC) 890 aircraft, Defence Minister Paal Jonson told a press conference.

The Swedish government said last week it had agreed on additional military support to Ukraine totalling 75 billion Swedish crowns over three years.

Poland arrests man suspected of seeking intelligence on Ukraine aid

08:22 , Tom Watling

Polish security services have arrested a man suspected of trying to get photos of military vehicles crossing the border into Ukraine.

It is the latest in a string of spy cases.

The 26-year-old Ukrainian man was suspected of encouraging a Polish citizen to share the photos and “take part in the activities of foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland,” the spokesperson said.

Poland says its role as a hub for supplies to Ukraine has made it a key target for Russian spies who are trying to gather information on support for Kyiv’s war effort and engage in acts of sabotage.

The Ukrainian man, named as Oleksandr D., sent messages to a Polish citizen encouraging him to help foreign intelligence, Jacek Dobrzynski, the spokesperson of the minister coordinating special services said in a statement.

“This activity was to consist in sharing photos of military vehicles that were intended to help Ukraine and crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border,” Dobrzynski said.

“In exchange for the information provided, the Polish citizen was to receive a remuneration of 15,000 euros.”

A court agreed to a request from the prosecutor to hold the suspect in pre-trial detention for three months. If found guilty he could face up to eight years in prison.

Putin makes former bodyguard Alexei Dyumin secretary of State Council, says Kremlin

08:12 , Tom Watling

The Kremlin has announced that President Vladimir Putin has appointed Alexei Dyumin, an aide and former bodyguard, as secretary of the State Council, an advisory body to the Russian head of state.

After being re-elected for another six-year term earlier this year, Putin made Dyumin an aide specialising in the defence industry.

Here we have some more photos from Zelensky’s trip to Portugal

08:00 , Tom Watling

Below we have some more photos of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Portugal on Tuesday.

Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (C) review the guard of honour with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky upon his arrival at Figo Maduro military airport in Lisbon (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (C) review the guard of honour with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky upon his arrival at Figo Maduro military airport in Lisbon (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (C) review the guard of honour with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky upon his arrival at Figo Maduro military airport in Lisbon (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Portuguese prime minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) during a meeting with Ukrainians after a joint statement at Sao Bento Palace (Getty Images)Portuguese prime minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) during a meeting with Ukrainians after a joint statement at Sao Bento Palace (Getty Images)

Portuguese prime minister Luis Montenegro (R) and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) during a meeting with Ukrainians after a joint statement at Sao Bento Palace (Getty Images)

Ukraine military says it shot down 13 out of 14 drones launched by Russia

07:36 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian military shot down 13 drones out of 14 launched by Russia in an overnight attack on three regions, the country’s air force has said.

Drone debris fell on energy infrastructure in Ukraine‘s northwestern region of Rivne, governor Oleksandr Koval said on Telegram. The attack triggered a defence mechanism that cut power to some localities, although it has since been restored.

Drone debris also damaged power lines in central Kirovohrad region with repair work ongoing, its governor said.

The air force shot down 11 drones over the Mykolaiv region, with no details on damage reported by the local governor.

Biden should attend Swiss peace summit on Ukraine – Zelensky

07:00 , Matt Mathers

US president Joe Biden should attend a planned peace summit in Switzerland on the Ukraine conflict next month to make the meeting a success, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky told a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

Biden’s absence would benefit Russian president Vladimir Putin, who gave the order to invade Ukraine in 2022, Zelensky said.

Zelensky (EPA)Zelensky (EPA)

Zelensky (EPA)

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

06:00 , Matt Mathers

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

Russian bombs kill two in eastern Ukraine, officials say

05:01 , Shweta Sharma

Russian guided bombs killed two civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Toretsk on Tuesday and damaged two apartment buildings, Donetsk regional governor Vadym Filashkin said.

Mr Filashkin, writing on Telegram, said Russian forces fired three bombs at the city, which lies north of the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk.

Photos posted by Mr Filashkin and by Donetsk region prosecutors showed sections of the apartment buildings wrecked and rubble strewn in the street.

The prosecutors also said a Russian guided bomb injured six people in Oleksievo-Druzhkivka, a town northwest of Toretsk.

The governor of southern Kherson region said Russian shelling killed a villager north of the region’s administrative centre, also called Kherson.

The prosecutors said Russian shelling struck port facilities in the Black Sea city of Odesa.Russia denies targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Poland rolls out plans for fortifications along its border with Russia and Belarus

05:00 , Tom Watling

Poland rolls out plans for fortifications along its border with Russia and Belarus

French and German leaders say Ukraine should be allowed to strike inside Russia

04:12 , Shweta Sharma

French and German leaders have said Ukraine should be allowed to hit military sites inside Russia but not other targets.

Russian president Vladimir Putin warned earlier in the day that Nato members in Europe were playing with fire by proposing to let Ukraine use Western weapons to strike inside Russia, which he said could trigger a global conflict.

“We support Ukraine and we don’t want escalation, that hasn’t changed,” French president Emmanuel Macron said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Meseberg, Germany.

“We think we should allow them to neutralise military sites from which missiles are fired, military sites from which Ukraine is attacked, but we shouldn’t allow them to hit other targets in Russia and civilian or other military sites in Russia.”

Mr Scholz said he agreed with Mr Macron and that as long as Ukraine respected the conditions given by countries that supplied the weapons, including the United States, and international law, it was allowed to defend itself.

“Ukraine has every possibility under international law for what it is doing. That has to be said explicitly,” Mr Scholz said.

“I find it strange when some people argue that it should not be allowed to defend itself and take measures that are suitable for this.”

Swiss lawmakers back tougher action against spies, Russia targeted

04:00 , Matt Mathers

Switzerland’s upper house of parliament has backed a motion to toughen measures to expel spies, taking particular aim at Russian intelligence agents as Bern prepares to host a major summit aimed at paving the way for peace in Ukraine.

Voting 32 in favour and nine against late on Monday, upper house legislators supported the motion entitled “systematically expel Russian spies and other foreign spies” that was backed by president Viola Amherd in an address to parliament.

“Foreign states should feel Switzerland is reacting to violations of its security and defending itself,” Amherd said, just over two weeks before her government prepares to host dozens of countries for the Ukraine peace talks.

Amherd said the government wanted to consistently expel intelligence officers whose activities endanger Switzerland’s security or its role as a host state, while stressing that the motion would not lead to automatic decision-making.

They escaped Russia’s deadly assault on Kharkiv – now these Ukrainians face another catastrophe

03:00 , Tom Watling

They escaped Russia’s deadly assault on Kharkiv – now they face another catastrophe

Ukraine PM to meet some EU leaders in Prague for military aid talks, Czech PM says

02:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal will meet a group of European Union leaders in Prague on Tuesday to discuss military aid to Kyiv for its fight against a Russian invasion, Czech prime minister Petr Fiala said.

Speaking ahead of the meeting later in the day, Fiala reiterated the first deliveries of ammunition procured in a Czech-led initiative, which sources supplies from outside the EU, would reach Ukraine in June.

Petr Fiala (AP)Petr Fiala (AP)

Petr Fiala (AP)

These Ukrainians fear they will be the next target for Putin’s forces – but they will fight to the last

01:00 , Tom Watling

These Ukrainians fear they will be the next target for Putin’s forces

Netherlands pledges parts of Patriot air defence system to Ukraine

Wednesday 29 May 2024 00:01 , Matt Mathers

The Netherlands will deliver parts of a Patriot air defence system to Ukraine and is talking to other countries in order to assemble a complete system, Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Tuesday.

“With our offer, and if other potential partner countries are able to deliver parts and ammunition, we would be able to supply at least one complete system to Ukraine in the short term,” Ollongren said.

Kajsa Ollongren (AP)Kajsa Ollongren (AP)

Kajsa Ollongren (AP)

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

Tuesday 28 May 2024 23:00 , Tom Watling

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

No clear position on EU training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine – Borrell

Tuesday 28 May 2024 22:00 , Matt Mathers

EU ministers debated training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine but there is no clear common position yet, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

“About doing part of the training in Ukraine, there has been a debate, but (there) is not a clear common European position on that”, he said in a press conference.

Josep Borrell (EPA)Josep Borrell (EPA)

Josep Borrell (EPA)

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

Tuesday 28 May 2024 21:00 , Tom Watling

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

EU tries to drum up military support for Ukraine as Zelenskyy tours Spain, Belgium and Portugal

Tuesday 28 May 2024 20:00 , Matt Mathers

European Union defence ministers are meeting in Brussels Tuesday to try again to overcome Hungary’s objections to providing billions of euros in military aid to Kyiv, in its third year of war since Russia’s full-scale invasion began.

This comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is to inspect the F-16 jets Belgium will send to his country. He is on a whirlwind two-day tour of Spain, Belgium and Portugal to drum up other support.

Full report:

EU tries to drum up military support for Ukraine as Zelenskyy tours Spain, Belgium and Portugal

Russian prisoners get to make phone calls home. Ukrainians don’t

Tuesday 28 May 2024 19:00 , Tom Watling

Russian prisoners get to make phone calls home. Ukrainians don’t

Minister says Poland should not exclude possibility of sending troops to Ukraine

Tuesday 28 May 2024 18:00 , Matt Mathers

Poland’s foreign minister has said his country should not exclude the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and should keep Russian president Vladimir Putin in suspense over whether such a decision would ever be made.

Radek Sikorski made the comments in an interview published on Tuesday in the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

“We should not exclude any option. Let Putin be guessing as to what we will do,” Mr Sikorski said when asked whether he would send Polish troops to Ukraine.

Mr Sikorski said he has gone to Ukraine with his family in the past to deliver humanitarian aid.

But a spokesperson for Poland’s defence ministry, Janusz Sejmej, told Polish media on Tuesday he had “no knowledge of that” when asked about a report in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine suggesting Poland might send troops to Ukraine.

The idea of sending foreign soldiers to Ukraine, which is battling Russian military aggression, was floated earlier this year in France, but no country, including Poland, has publicly embraced it.

Poland supports neighbouring Ukraine politically and by providing military equipment and humanitarian aid.

Radek Sikorski (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)Radek Sikorski (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Radek Sikorski (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

EU tries to drum up military support for Ukraine as Zelenskyy tours Spain, Belgium and Portugal

Tuesday 28 May 2024 17:00 , Tom Watling

EU tries to drum up military support for Ukraine as Zelenskyy tours Spain, Belgium and Portugal

No clear position on EU training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine – Borrell

Tuesday 28 May 2024 15:45 , Tom Watling

European Union ministers debated training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine but there is no clear common position yet, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

“About doing part of the training in Ukraine, there has been a debate, but (there) is not a clear common European position on that”, he said in a press conference.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell rings the bell to officially start the next session of the 8th Brussels Conference (EPA)High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell rings the bell to officially start the next session of the 8th Brussels Conference (EPA)

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell rings the bell to officially start the next session of the 8th Brussels Conference (EPA)

Zelensky meets with the King of Belgium

Tuesday 28 May 2024 15:15 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with Belgium’s King Philippe on the second day of his European tour.

Earlier, Mr Zelensky met with the Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo. The pair signed a nearly €1 billion security agreement.

Belgium's King Philippe, right, walks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky prior to a meeting at the Royal Palace in Brussels (AP)Belgium's King Philippe, right, walks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky prior to a meeting at the Royal Palace in Brussels (AP)

Belgium’s King Philippe, right, walks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky prior to a meeting at the Royal Palace in Brussels (AP)

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

Tuesday 28 May 2024 14:45 , Tom Watling

UK vows action over hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

Ukraine to receive F-16s ‘very soon’ but much aid arriving late, defence minister says

Tuesday 28 May 2024 14:15 , Tom Watling

Ukraine will receive its first supplies of F-16 fighter jets “very soon” but around half of its desperately needed foreign military aid is arriving late, Kyiv’s defence minister has said.

Rustem Umerov, 42, told Reuters in an interview in Kyiv late on Monday that Russia was deploying more manpower and equipment to the front, more than 27 months after its full-scale invasion.

Kyiv’s forces have managed to stabilise the new front in the northeastern Kharkiv region where Russia attacked earlier this month. But Mr Umerov said Moscow was preparing for a new push.

“Their objective is to open a new front in the north to start using all their manpower, firing power, against us, they are continuing with their objective to destroy the nation,” he said.

“We are withstanding, but of course we need more weapons, we need more firing power, we need long-range missiles, not to allow them to enter our state.”

He said Ukraine was grateful for the military aid and weapons supplied by its partners, but that only half of the promised deliveries arrived on time. Every delay benefited Ukraine‘s much larger and better-equipped foe, with a front line stretching 750 miles.

Ukraine's Defence Minister Umerov speaks during an interview in Kyiv (REUTERS)Ukraine's Defence Minister Umerov speaks during an interview in Kyiv (REUTERS)

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Umerov speaks during an interview in Kyiv (REUTERS)

Glide bombs, missiles and drones: The aerial bombardment raining down on Ukraine’s troops around Kharkiv

Tuesday 28 May 2024 13:45 , Tom Watling

Glide bombs, missiles and drones rain down on Ukraine’s troops around Kharkiv

Image shows giant crater next to Kharkiv publishing house

Tuesday 28 May 2024 13:15 , Tom Watling

An image has shown a giant bomb crater next to a Kharkiv publishing house that was destroyed by a Russian missile strike last week.

More than 50 people were believed to be inside the Faktor Druk printing house when it was hit. At least seven people were killed and dozens more injured. You can read the full story here.

Sergii Polituchyi, Ukrainian publisher and businessman, shows Reuters journalist one of craters next to his printing house, which appeared after a recent Russian missile strike, in Kharkiv (REUTERS)Sergii Polituchyi, Ukrainian publisher and businessman, shows Reuters journalist one of craters next to his printing house, which appeared after a recent Russian missile strike, in Kharkiv (REUTERS)

Sergii Polituchyi, Ukrainian publisher and businessman, shows Reuters journalist one of craters next to his printing house, which appeared after a recent Russian missile strike, in Kharkiv (REUTERS)

Kremlin says Russia should continue Ukraine operation in response to West

Tuesday 28 May 2024 12:45 , Tom Watling

Russia should stand its ground and continue what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine in response to the West’s military fervour, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, as quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

At the same time, Peskov said that the West had no unanimity of opinion regarding the Ukrainian army’s strikes with Western weapons on Russian territory.

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

Tuesday 28 May 2024 12:20 , Tom Watling

Russia to build a small nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

Here are the latest photos from Zelensky’s visit to Belgium

Tuesday 28 May 2024 12:00 , Tom Watling

We have some photos dropping on the wires of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Belgium, part of his multi-day tour across Europe to drum up further support for Kyiv.

Earlier today, we reported that the two nations had agreed on a nearly €1 billion military aid package including 30 F-16 fighter jets.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Belgium's Defense Ludivine Dedonder stand near a F-16 (REUTERS)Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Belgium's Defense Ludivine Dedonder stand near a F-16 (REUTERS)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Belgium’s Defense Ludivine Dedonder stand near a F-16 (REUTERS)

Zelensky, De Croo and Dedoner meet with training instructors at Melsbroek air base, near Brussels, Belgium. Zelensky’s top advisor, Andriy Yermak, can be seen behind Zelensky (REUTERS)Zelensky, De Croo and Dedoner meet with training instructors at Melsbroek air base, near Brussels, Belgium. Zelensky’s top advisor, Andriy Yermak, can be seen behind Zelensky (REUTERS)

Zelensky, De Croo and Dedoner meet with training instructors at Melsbroek air base, near Brussels, Belgium. Zelensky’s top advisor, Andriy Yermak, can be seen behind Zelensky (REUTERS)

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he addresses the media alongside Belgium's Prime Minister during a surprise visit at the Prime Minister's office in Brussels (EPA)Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he addresses the media alongside Belgium's Prime Minister during a surprise visit at the Prime Minister's office in Brussels (EPA)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he addresses the media alongside Belgium’s Prime Minister during a surprise visit at the Prime Minister’s office in Brussels (EPA)

Sweden halts plan for Gripen jets to Ukraine, news agency TT reports

Tuesday 28 May 2024 11:40 , Tom Watling

Sweden is pausing plans to send Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine in order to allow for the introduction of F-16 fighter jets, the Swedish defence minister has told news agency TT in Brussels.

Ukraine last year started discussions with Sweden about the possibility of receiving Gripen jets, and the Nordic country later said its would assess the potential for sending the aircraft made by Swedish defence contractor Saab.

“We have been urged by the other countries in the coalition to wait with the Gripen system,” defence minister Pal Jonson told TT, referring to nations that plan to donate US-made F-16 planes to Ukraine.

“This has to do with the fact that the focus is now on introducing the F-16 system,” Mr Jonson said.

They escaped Russia’s deadly assault on Kharkiv – now these Ukrainians face another catastrophe

Tuesday 28 May 2024 11:20 , Tom Watling

They escaped Russia’s deadly assault on Kharkiv – now they face another catastrophe

US President Biden should attend Swiss peace summit on Ukraine – Zelensky

Tuesday 28 May 2024 11:00 , Tom Watling

US President Joe Biden should attend a planned peace summit in Switzerland on the Ukraine conflict next month to make the meeting a success, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

Mr Biden’s absence would benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave the order to invade Ukraine in 2022, Mr Zelensky said.

US President Joe Biden has not said he will attened the peace summit in Switzerland (AP)US President Joe Biden has not said he will attened the peace summit in Switzerland (AP)

US President Joe Biden has not said he will attened the peace summit in Switzerland (AP)

Ukraine’s use of weapons on Russian territory won’t draw NATO into the war – Stoltenberg

Tuesday 28 May 2024 10:40 , Tom Watling

Ukraine‘s use of weapons supplied by its western allies against targets inside Russia would not make Nato and its members part of the conflict, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a European Union meeting on Tuesday.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Sofia over the weekend (EPA)Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Sofia over the weekend (EPA)

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Sofia over the weekend (EPA)

These Ukrainians fear they will be the next target for Putin’s forces – but they will fight to the last

Tuesday 28 May 2024 10:20 , Tom Watling

These Ukrainians fear they will be the next target for Putin’s forces

EU diplomats back Ukraine’s request to be able to fire missiles into Russia

Tuesday 28 May 2024 10:00 , Tom Watling

The top diplomats of two European countries have called for Ukraine to be allowed to fire missiles and drones into mainland Russia without reprimand.

Their comments come a day after Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said the “time had come” for Kyiv’s allies to give Ukrainian forces the all-clear to hit mainland Russia, especially as Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv, the countries second largest, is being battered by Moscow’s missiles.

Top allies, including the US and Germany, have called on Ukraine to only use their missiles in their own territory, for fear of Russia escalating the war if they are hit on their own land.

But Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said it was “quite clear that they (the Ukrainians) have to strike inside Russia”.

“From my point of view this should not be a matter of discussion, and I hope that other countries that have a different position will change it,” she said.

Her Estonian counterpart Hanno Pevkur agreed. He said: “It cannot be normal that Russia is attacking from very deep into Ukrainian territory and the Ukrainians are fighting with one hand behind their back.”

Firefighters put out a fire after Russian attack in Kharkiv over the weekend. At least 14 were killed in the strike (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)Firefighters put out a fire after Russian attack in Kharkiv over the weekend. At least 14 were killed in the strike (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Firefighters put out a fire after Russian attack in Kharkiv over the weekend. At least 14 were killed in the strike (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Drone warning signs installed in Russian region bordering Ukraine

Tuesday 28 May 2024 09:40 , Tom Watling

Road signs warning of possible drone attacks have been installed in the Russian district of Shebekinsky after several attacks hit the area.

Photos published by a local news channel in Shebekinsky, a district of the wider Belgorod region, showed signs reading “UAV Danger” with a picture of a drone beneath. “UAV” stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

In recent months, Ukrainian drones have targeted military outposts and infrastructure throughout the Belgorod region as Russian forces continue to launch deadly cross-border attacks and fire fatal bombs at civilian hubs.

Photos published on Telegram showed residents of Shebekinsky putting up drone warning signs (Telegram / https://t.me/club_shebekino/10425)Photos published on Telegram showed residents of Shebekinsky putting up drone warning signs (Telegram / https://t.me/club_shebekino/10425)

Photos published on Telegram showed residents of Shebekinsky putting up drone warning signs (Telegram / https://t.me/club_shebekino/10425)

Russian drones hit apartment block in southern Ukraine – video

Tuesday 28 May 2024 09:19 , Tom Watling

Footage has shown the aftermath of a Russian drone strike on the Ukrainian town of Ochakiv in the southern region of Mykolaiv.

Ukraine’s state emergency services posted the below video as they searched the damaged building.

“The enemy targeted a two-story building that houses a store and a non-operational fitness room,” a statement read. “A fire broke out. Firefighters extinguished the fire. There was no information about the victims.”

Russian prisoners get to make phone calls home. Ukrainians don’t

Tuesday 28 May 2024 09:15 , Tom Watling

Russian prisoners get to make phone calls home. Ukrainians don’t

Zelensky issues statement after Belgium F-16 deal

Tuesday 28 May 2024 09:00 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian President Voldoymyr Zelensky has issued a statement confirming earlier reports that Belgium had agreed to supply 30 F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv.

The US-made jets have long been sought after by Ukraine, with many believing they are the only way of stopping Russia’s use of deadly glide bombs, which have killed hundreds this year.

The explosives are fired from Russia’s own fighter jets beyond the range of Ukraine’s air defence systems.

“Today in Brussels, Prime Minister AlexanderDeCroo and I signed a bilateral security and long-term support agreement between Ukraine and Belgium,” Mr Zelensky wrote.

“The document includes at least €977 million (£832m) in Belgian military aid to Ukraine this year, as well as Belgium’s commitment to providing our country with support over the course of the agreement’s ten-year term.

“For the first time, such an agreement specifies the exact number of F-16 fighter jets – 30 – that will be delivered to Ukraine until 2028, with the first arriving already this year.”

You can read Mr Zelensky’s full statement below.

Ukraine PM to meet some EU leaders in Prague for military aid talks, Czech PM says

Tuesday 28 May 2024 08:45 , Tom Watling

Ukraine‘s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal will meet a group of European Union leaders in Prague on Tuesday to discuss military aid to Kyiv for its fight against a Russian invasion, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has said.

Speaking ahead of the meeting later in the day, Mr Fiala reiterated the first deliveries of ammunition procured in a Czech-led initiative, which sources supplies from outside the EU, would reach Ukraine in June.

Mr Shmyhal’s meetings come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues his tour around Europe. He is expected in Brussels today and Portugal later in the week, having already visited Spain yesterday.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister’s office in Kyiv earlier this mnth (AP)Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister’s office in Kyiv earlier this mnth (AP)

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister’s office in Kyiv earlier this mnth (AP)

Netherlands pledges parts of Patriot air defence system to Ukraine

Tuesday 28 May 2024 08:33 , Tom Watling

The Netherlands will deliver parts of a Patriot air defence system to Ukraine and is talking to other countries in order to assemble a complete system, the Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren has said.

“With our offer, and if other potential partner countries are able to deliver parts and ammunition, we would be able to supply at least one complete system to Ukraine in the short term,” Ms Ollongren said.

Visitors check US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system during the first day of the Black Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition 2024 (BSDA'24) in Bucharest, Romania (EPA)Visitors check US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system during the first day of the Black Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition 2024 (BSDA'24) in Bucharest, Romania (EPA)

Visitors check US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system during the first day of the Black Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition 2024 (BSDA’24) in Bucharest, Romania (EPA)

Mapped: Russia make advances in Vovchansk

Tuesday 28 May 2024 08:15 , Tom Watling

Russian forces have pushed further into the northeastern town of Vovchansk, in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, updated maps have shown.

The town, which had a prewar population of 17,000 but is now home to just a couple of hundred people, has become the primary defensive line for Ukraine’s forces in that region.

Poland should not rule out sending troops to Ukraine, says foreign minister

Tuesday 28 May 2024 08:00 , Tom Watling

Poland should not rule out sending troops to Ukraine, foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said, as Kyiv struggles to repel Russian advances.

While Ukraine‘s Nato allies have vowed to supply the war-torn nation with money and weapons for as long as it takes to repel a Russian invasion, they have generally ruled out the possibility of sending soldiers to the country.

Asked in an interview whether Poland was ready to send troops to Ukraine, Mr Sikorski said: “We shouldn’t rule it out. We should leave Putin guessing as to our intentions.”

However, he did not specify what role Polish troops would play.

The interview was published in Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza, Italy’s La Repubblica and Spain’s El Pais.

French President Emmanuel Macron opened the door to sending troops to Ukraine and at a conference in Paris in February, suggesting that one area Western troops could help with would be to train Ukrainians in Ukraine.

Mr Sikorski himself has previously said that the presence of Nato troops in Ukraine is “not unthinkable”.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski looks on during a joint press conference as part of the Weimar Triangle talks with his German and French counterparts in eastern Germany (AFP via Getty Images)Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski looks on during a joint press conference as part of the Weimar Triangle talks with his German and French counterparts in eastern Germany (AFP via Getty Images)

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski looks on during a joint press conference as part of the Weimar Triangle talks with his German and French counterparts in eastern Germany (AFP via Getty Images)

Belgium to provide 30 F-16 jets to Ukraine

Tuesday 28 May 2024 07:45 , Tom Watling

Belgium will commit to equip Ukraine with 30 F-16 fighter jets with first deliveries planned for this year, news agency Belga has reported, citing the country’s foreign minister Hadja Lahbib.

The announcement comes hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy is due to meet with the government in Brussels later today.

F-16 fighter jets of the Romanian Air Force perform a fly by at the Black Sea, Defense, Aerospace and Security (BSDA) international exhibition in Bucharest (AP)F-16 fighter jets of the Romanian Air Force perform a fly by at the Black Sea, Defense, Aerospace and Security (BSDA) international exhibition in Bucharest (AP)

F-16 fighter jets of the Romanian Air Force perform a fly by at the Black Sea, Defense, Aerospace and Security (BSDA) international exhibition in Bucharest (AP)

Here are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

Tuesday 28 May 2024 07:37 , Tom Watling

Good morning.

Below are some of the latest photos from Ukraine.

Young women take a selfie at the Constitution Square in central Kharkiv, northeast Ukraine (REUTERS)Young women take a selfie at the Constitution Square in central Kharkiv, northeast Ukraine (REUTERS)

Young women take a selfie at the Constitution Square in central Kharkiv, northeast Ukraine (REUTERS)

A woman displays a portrait of a Ukrainian army serviceman at a memorial area with Ukrainian and other countries flags commemorating fallen Ukrainian and foreign fighters at the Independence Square, in Kyiv (AFP via Getty Images)A woman displays a portrait of a Ukrainian army serviceman at a memorial area with Ukrainian and other countries flags commemorating fallen Ukrainian and foreign fighters at the Independence Square, in Kyiv (AFP via Getty Images)

A woman displays a portrait of a Ukrainian army serviceman at a memorial area with Ukrainian and other countries flags commemorating fallen Ukrainian and foreign fighters at the Independence Square, in Kyiv (AFP via Getty Images)

Spain's King Felipe stands alongside Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Madrid (via REUTERS)Spain's King Felipe stands alongside Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Madrid (via REUTERS)

Spain’s King Felipe stands alongside Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Madrid (via REUTERS)

Before invasion, Putin told Germany’s Scholz Russia can change Ukraine’s borders

Tuesday 28 May 2024 07:18 , Arpan Rai

Before rolling out Russian forces into Ukraine in February 2022, Vladimir Putin had warned German chancellor Olaf Scholz that Russia could change Ukraine’s borders forcibly.

The Russian president had claimed that Ukraine is not an independent state and that Russia can unilaterally and forcibly change its smaller neighbour’s borders.

His remarks were mentioned by Mr Scholz at the Freedom for Democracy Festival in Berlin on Sunday.

Putin had said “Ukraine and Belarus are parts of Russia” and the German chancellor’s discussion with Putin demonstrated that Putin thinks that one can change borders “with the help of force.”

“Putin has consistently demonstrated that he does not consider Ukraine an independent state with its own history, identity, and culture separate from Russia, as evidenced by his 2021 essay, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”; that his war aims include the total defeat of Ukraine; and that he has expansive territorial ambitions in Ukraine,” said The Institute for the Study of War in its assessment.

Spain provides more air defence missiles to defend against Russian glide bombs

Tuesday 28 May 2024 06:53 , Arpan Rai

On a visit to Madrid, Volodymyr Zelensky has secured a pledge of additional air defence missiles from Spain to help fight the about 3,000 bombs that he says Russia launches every month at Ukraine.

The Ukrainian war-time president said the country still urgently needs another seven US-made Patriot air defence systems to stop Russia hitting the power grid and civilian areas, as well as military targets, with devastating glide bombs that wreak wide destruction, Mr Zelensky said.

“If we had these modern Patriot systems, (Russian) airplanes wouldn’t be able to fly close enough to drop the (glide) bombs on the civilian population and the military,” he told a news conference in the Spanish capital.

Glide bombs are heavy Soviet-era bombs fitted with precision guidance systems and launched from aircraft flying out of range of air defences. The bombs weigh more than a ton and blast targets to smithereens, leaving a huge crater.

Back To Top